By Johnathan Miller
Joe Biden, former vice president and Democratic challenger to President Trump in the presidential election, is likely to win New Jersey’s 14 electoral votes this November, according to the latest FiveThirtyEight election model.
That would continue the state’s Democratic streak that started in 1992 with President Bill Clinton winning the state for the first time since 1964.
The FiveThirtyEight national polling average, which averages all the national and state polls and accounts for quality, sample size, and recency, shows Biden leading in New Jersey by a margin of 19% — Biden’s 55.8% to Trump’s 36.5%.
Additionally, an Emerson poll showed Biden leading Trump, 55% to 38%. The poll was conducted Sept. 4-7 with 500 respondents and a margin of error +/- 4.4%
Presidential Election History
At one point, New Jersey was considered a Republican-leaning swing state in presidential politics. From 1896 to 1928, Republicans won New Jersey in all but one election — 1912.
New Jersey then switched support to Democratic candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt who won New Jersey by a narrow margin of 1.89 percentage points in 1932. Roosevelt won three elections in the state, only losing his 1944 election to Republican challenger Thomas Dewey in New Jersey while winning his election nationwide.
From 1944 to 1988, New Jersey’s Republican-lean took form as Republicans won the state nine times out of 11, losing the 1960 election to John F. Kennedy by 22,000 votes, and the 1964 election with Lyndon B. Johnson. New Jersey was split based on the urban areas, which primarily voted Democratic, and the more suburban areas that historically supported Republicans.
After 1992, New Jersey political attitudes took a turn.
Independent candidate Ross Perot split Republican support in both 1992 and 1996, which allowed Bill Clinton (D) to win the state in a plurality.
Since the 2000 election, New Jersey has given Democratic candidates over 50% of the votes cast.
In 2004, it looked as if New Jersey was potentially competitive when Democratic candidate John Kerry was challenging then-President George W. Bush. A Quinnipiac poll released on Oct. 27, 2004, showed Bush and Kerry in a dead heat, with each candidate getting 46% of the vote. The average poll in New Jersey at the time had Kerry up 49% to 42%. On election day, New Jersey ended up voting for Kerry by 53-46%.
Former President Barack Obama (D) won the state both in 2008 and 2012 by comfortable margins. He won in 2012 by 58% of the vote, the highest since 1968.
2016 Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton won New Jersey, but by a slightly smaller margin than Obama did four years earlier.